The Pitch: Elqava
What are your personal entrepreneurial qualities?
Lukas: “I really get energized from working for an own company, for my own vision – and not someone else’s. This allows me to be very passionate for what I do, and therefore to go the extra mile. I did not go into coffee because the numbers look great – which they happen to do, but that is not what I am doing it all for. It is the passion for quality coffee that drives me.”
An often heard cliché is: you learn from your mistakes. What mistake have you learned most from?
Lukas: “I already had many business ideas prior to starting Elqava, but the one crucial mistake is that until now I never took that one final step of realizing such a business idea.” Irmansyah, adding: “A year ago I started a social media company with a friend, and it did not work because we were so much focused on getting every single thing perfectly complete before starting. In the end, this prevented us from actually starting.”
Every month an entrepreneurial EUR student is put in the spotlights in ‘The Pitch’. The entrepreneur answers five personal question related to entrepreneurship and gets thirty seconds – and only one take – for a video pitch. This first edition, second year IBCoM students Lukas Kuhn (Germany) and Irmansyah Putera (Indonesia) introduce Elqava. They founded this coffee subscription service last month, and every month they offer a special selection of roasted coffees.
How many hours per week do you work for Elqava?
Lukas: “Roughly estimated I would say 40 to 50 hours per week. Even though we initially planned to spend 20 hours a week on Elqava, I would estimate that almost every single minute that I do not spend on studying is spent on Elqava. This brings implications with it: I spent a lot of time on Elqava during the summer break for instance. Also, I still cannot see my friends as often as I would like to.”
How is Elqava performing?
Lukas: “In our first month we sold over 22kg of coffee. This includes the boxes we sold to institutions we have deals with, who give the box as a gift to guest speakers for instance. Next to this, we have 35 subscribers right now. Of course we barely operate for over a month, so we plan to have a larger subscription base soon: the target is 150 monthly subscribers at the end of 2013.”
Do you engage in Corporate Social Responsibility activities?
Both: “Yes we do! One thing we do from the start is that every box we sell contains a burlap from the bag in which the coffee beans were shipped. For every burlap bag, we donate 1 euro to a good cause from the roasters, which can be for example local humanitarian aid. In addition, the paper box is made from recycled materials. We would eventually like to introduce wooden boxes, which we would then re-use, but this is a plan for the longer term.” LJa